Hiring Mistakes All Startups Make But Can Avoid

A startup’s strength and success lie in its team, more so because hiring mistakes can prove to be quite expensive for them than for a well-established organisation. A leader without relevant experience in building a cohesive team can ruin the brand even before the business has taken off.

Startups are the latest trendsetter in the economy, with several youngsters looking forward to building something of their own. However, though they start with passion, conviction and dedication, many startups fizzle out before the first year. This news can be perceived as discouragement or plain pessimism for some, but others can take it as a challenge to overcome.

Generally, it is seen that most startups fail because of a lack of experience in leadership. You don’t become a leader just because you are the founder of the company. You need to earn your position by the way you build your workforce. Sure, a part of an organisation’s success lies in your vision and your big idea. But it also depends on your technical and business proficiency and on-ground execution that converts a startup into a well-established business.

A startup’s strength and success lie in its team, more so because hiring mistakes can prove to be quite expensive for them than for a well-established organisation. A leader without relevant experience to build a strong and motivated team can ruin the brand even before the business has taken off. That’s why it is vital you pay attention to all the hires.

We have collated for you eight of the common hiring mistakes startups, and even corporates, are susceptible to. Overcoming these glitches shall make you a stellar leader with exceptional business skills that build a successful brand, and here is how you do it:

Looking at only one skill

First things first, you should have a goal in mind when building a startup. Once you have that, you must make a list of roles that your business requires. One of the most common hiring mistakes is to hire people who cannot handle many roles at the same time. Trust us — you need versatile employees, for they would help you build your brand bit by bit.

For example, you might need someone who has a penchant for writing, marketing, people management, finance and accounting, human resources, sales, and designing. In such cases, you can hire a freelancer or people who can double up in several roles.

Irrational hiring

On the other hand, one must not give in to thoughtless hiring because they have the capital at hand. When deciding on the professionals needed in the team, some founders don’t consider the qualities that they need for the team. They don’t have a proper job description for the open positions and hire unqualified staff at first. Though this is not a hiring mistake, there needs to be a senior who needs to guide them further in their career. Over time, the newly-hired employees get bored doing nothing or feeling overworked and move on to better jobs.

Instead, make a list of the immediate people that you need on your team – a finance director, a marketing head and an operation supervisor. These leaders can discuss the kind of people that you need in your team and how to help them develop further.

Asking only basic interview questions

A job interview says a lot about the company, the employee and the employee. It takes time to hire the right people because it is hard to find someone who is trustworthy, resilient and explores beyond what is expected of them. Therefore, regular questions on education, life goals and salary discussions are redundant. Deep conversations not only prove the candidate’s demonstration of their skills in your business but also show what their personal contribution can be.

Undecided on your work culture

One of the biggest hiring mistakes is to not define a workplace culture, which could give rise to a toxic work setting in the long term. Are you looking for an open, flexible and contemporary culture? Or would you like something more corporate, which is essential in high-risk manufacturing industries? Evaluate your choice of candidates and make your decisions carefully, so that you can choose a hire that complements your work culture.

Hiding details at the job interview

Some employers think that hiding facts, such as the hardships they have faced, makes the company look like an easygoing place of work. In reality, it can damage your business ethics and morality in the long run. Candidates can see through such a false positioning – too flexible policies, overdone office spaces and overindulgent employees. However, new employees must understand the pain that comes with building a startup business from scratch.

One of the most common hiring mistakes that hiring managers make is to not set crucial expectations at the interview procedures. For example, if the interviewee sees couches around the office room, the hiring manager should explain that these couches are not just decor; they are for the employees to take a bit of a rest during all-nighters. This explanation sets the right expectation of workload in the mind of the candidate.

Making poor decisions

Startups come with learning and more learning and accepting their mistakes. Hiring procedures such as recruitment, application screening and interview conduction could be a whole new experience for a beginner businessman. Startups often hire unqualified candidates who come with brilliant CVs and impressive descriptions but do not work as well. But employers do not accept their mistakes and continue to let them work – a common hiring blunder.

Research on recruitment and interviewing practices, and learn to distinguish between a silver-tongued talker and an honest person. Consult a recruitment firm to enhance your hiring skills.

Paying low salaries

Though many startup salaries work on a budget, there is no reason to bootstrap your employees. Find a balance between good talent and money, so that there is an effort on both sides. A common hiring mistake, low salaries can affect the talent and culture, which can ruin your brand and employer status as well.

Ignoring danger signs

You are taking an interview, but you don’t get good vibes from them. However, they seem to have an impressive CV and decades of experience. What is your reaction? If your candidate doesn’t seem a good fit at the beginning, there are low chances that they will remain a long-term member.

What is the takeaway here? Trust your judgment. But also make sure it’s not personal bias against the candidate. Weigh the pros and cons, articulate your instincts and make a rational decision before offering the position.

Startups learn as they try and test their capabilities, but one should avoid making hiring mistakes as far as possible. Employ innovative, hardworking and persistent team members, teach them many skills apart from their specialisations, and they go on to become better professionals only taking your brand ahead. Once you have hired the best, nothing can stop you from achieving your best.

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  1. comment-author
    Aaron Vick

    Your blog post is incredible. it such a wonderful post of startup leadership, thank you for sharing experience and ideas. Very useful, thanks for sharing.

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